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EULC Blog

Sunday, July 09, 2017

If so, would you be willing to donate it to homeless and very poor young girls and women in Africa? Bring it to the church. Through Love, Inc. of Eastern Carver County we are working with Pathways to Hope Africa, a non-profit organization that works with homeless and marginalized women in Uganda. They are starting a sewing center for young girls and women. Sewing machines are needed for this worthy cause.

 

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Friday, July 07, 2017

The call process for a new Senior Pastor is progressing steadily. At the June 20th EULC Council meeting the Ministry Site Profile was unanimously approved. The Ministry Site Profile was then submitted to the Minneapolis Area Synod where it will be reviewed by Bishop Ann Svennungsen and Call Coordinator Pastor Craig Pederson. During that review process the EULC Call Committee will meet with Pastor Craig Pederson and there is a possibility that Bishop Svennungsen will come to East Union Lutheran to meet with the congregation and discuss the Ministry Site Profile.

 

After the review is completed, the Ministry Site Profile will be used as a job posting for potential applicants. It is difficult to project an exact schedule for the completion of the call process. It is likely to to take at least another 6-9 months to complete, but the Call Committee will continue to schedule temple talks and provide updates via the monthly newsletter and the EULC website.

 

Thanks,

Larry Cruse, Call Committee Chairperson

 

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

The churches of East Carver County through Love, Inc. are working with District 112 to feed children in need in the District who rely on the schools to provide most of their nutrition during the school year. Two to four (2-4) volunteers are needed from 12:15 to 2:00 (at the very latest) every day for the rest of the summer. The lunches will be served at the Community Center Pavilion at the park on Riverside Avenue. Continue straight in when you enter Riverside Terrace, 300 Ehlers Ave, Chaska and the park with be there when the road turns you will be there. Volunteers can go to the Love, Inc. website (loveincecc.org) and sign up through our Help us Feed Children in Need this Summer! Link. If you need help signing up please come into the church office and we'll be glad to help you!

 

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

"Is anyone left?"  

I've been asked that question more than once in the last couple of months.

 

I am an interim pastor working full-time but still "learning the ropes" and trying to memorize all the new names. Our Parish Administrator left her part-time position to accept a full-time position with benefits. Our regular Music Director was not ready to return yet so we have an interim Music Director. Our Parish Education Person is ending her ministry after Vacation Bible School. Our custodians do a great job but they are rarely around during regular working hours. So at times, the office feels very empty.

 

"Is anyone left?"

No wonder people are asking the question.

The answer is, "Of course there is!"

 

God is at work. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God is calling forth servants to serve God's people. The Word is still being proclaimed. The Sacraments are still being administered. People are still coming to receive the forgiveness of sins in the bread and the wine, the body and blood of Jesus. Babies are still being brought to the baptismal font. (Ya-hoo!) Children are still being taught the story of Jesus and his love. Everyone is still being warmly welcomed in Jesus' name.

 

Yes, we're struggling a bit but we're still here!

 

Volunteers have stepped up in a big way to help out in the office. Behind the scenes, our President and Vice President have done an extraordinary job doing the Treasurer's work and finishing up the bulletins. Thanks to our Christian Education Director and volunteers, Vacation Bible School was a rousing success. All sorts of people are volunteering to help in a variety of ways.

 

There's an old gospel song with this refrain,

 

Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same.

All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!

Glory to His Name! Glory to His Name!

All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!

 

East Union is a congregation in a time of great transition. Yet the Gospel is not. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, forever. We still proclaim the love of God. We still marvel at the gift of God's grace. We still warmly welcome one another as Christ welcomes us. We still celebrate being the church, the body of Christ. This is a special place with a special message – God is with us.

 

And I'm still pitching!

 

Pastor David Grant

 

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Saturday, July 01, 2017

During the month of July, most of the Gospel readings are parables. Parables are a method of teaching frequently used by Jesus. Parables are a short story, analogies taken from ordinary life. Parables are very memorable and loved by many, for example The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Prodigal Son.  During this month when all creation is growing, we also seek to grow by sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to his wonderful teaching.—Pastor Dave

 

July 2, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 10:40-42

When Jesus sends his disciples out as missionaries, he warns them of persecution and hardships they will face. He also promises to reward any who aid his followers and support their ministry.

 

July 9, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Jesus chides people who find fault with both his ministry and that of John the Baptist. He thanks God that wisdom and intelligence are not needed to receive what God has to offer.

 

July 16, Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

In Matthew's gospel, both Jesus and his disciples "sow the seed" of God's word by proclaiming the good news that "the kingdom of heaven is near." Now, in a memorable parable, Jesus explains why this good news produces different results in those who hear.

 

July 23, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

Jesus tells a parable about the co-existence of good and evil in this world. God's judgment will remove all evildoers and causes of sin, but not until the end of human history. 

 

July 30, Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Throughout Matthew's gospel, Jesus and his disciples proclaim the good news that "the kingdom of heaven is near!" Here, Jesus offers several brief parables that explore the implications of this announcement for people's lives.

 

Source: Sundays and Seasons. www.sundaysandseasons.com.2017.

 

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Fighting hunger in our own backyard…Please give food or funds to help!

Bags of Love Weekend Backpack Program – East Union Elementary

More than 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat. What happens when they go home over the weekend?

 

East Union Lutheran Church, along with other area churches, is participating in a Weekend Backpack Program for East Union Elementary students.

We were contacted by East Union Elementary School Principal Chris Hentges to set this up. We have 15 students that we will be providing for.

 

EULC's dates of responsibility are from March 31 to June 2. This includes Spring Break March 27-31.

 

Each bag of food must provide nonperishable easy-to-prepare food. Each bag of food needs to contain fruit and vegetables, and provide nutritious, substantive meals for kids to eat at home. A sample bag includes the following items: a can of pears, a bag of rice, a can of green beans, a can of chunk chicken, and a can of chicken noodle soup.

 

Below is a breakdown of the categories of food for each bag:

  • Canned Protein: Chunk Chicken, Tuna, Salmon, beans, etc.
  • Canned Fruit: Pears, Peaches, Applesauce, etc. (in its own juice or water) 
  • Canned Vegetable: Green Beans, Peas, Carrots, Mixed Veggies, etc. (low sodium or no salt added)
  • Canned: Soup, Stew, Chili, Ravioli
  • Boxed or Bagged Base: Pasta, Rice, Beans (ex. pinto beans), Oatmeal
  • Additional food may be given, but please remember that we are attempting to keep the weekly food bags between 4-5 pounds.  Healthy snacks may include fruit cups, raisins, granola bars, peanut butter, etc.

 

We will be delivering the food bags to East Union Elementary School each Friday. From there, the bags will be discretely distributed to the children via their backpacks to help ensure they have food over the weekend and return to school on Monday ready to learn.

 

You can donate food (using the above guidelines) or funds to help in this effort. We will make it a congregational service event to help put these bags together. Stay tuned for details!

 

Thank you all for your help on this project. We pray the Lord's richest blessings upon all our efforts to work together to help these children and their families

 

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Below is a great opportunity for our high school students shared by Mik and Heidi Gusenius. If you are interested in attending, Mik and Heidi have graciously agreed to pay for your registration fee(s).

Take advantage of this great opportunity!

 

Gustavus is excited to offer a leadership development resource for high school youth. STEP UP Leadership Development is a day-long experience that will introduce youth to college level concepts of leadership and will help them develop a stronger personal plan for continuing to grow as a leader.

The day will include three sessions focused on actively engaging students as they learn valuable skills and expand their vision for potential leadership possibilities.

Register open now for our Thursday, March 9th event.

When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 (registration deadline Fri. Mar. 3)

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minn.

Cost: $40 per student (includes lunch and STEP UP t-shirt).

Adult leaders accompanying youth must register, but attend at no charge. Adult leaders will meet separately during leadership seminars to hear an overview of the student curriculum, learn about other resources available at Gustavus, and to share in guided small group discussions.

This program is open to student groups as well as individual students who may wish to attend on their own.

For more information on facilitators, schedule for the day, or to register, please visit: STEP UP Website

Students who complete the STEP UP program and attend Gustavus Adolphus College will be eligible to receive a $500 annually renewable Gustavus Scholarship (up to $2000).

 

 

If you have questions please contact us at 507-933-7001 or
stepup@gustavus.edu

 

 

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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Rick Warren, the pastor at Saddleback Church in California lists eight reasons believers give to their church. Can you find yourself among the eight?

  1. People give when they trust the leadership. If the church council, committee chairs, Sunday school teachers and pastors all tithe or model leadership giving, others will follow.
  2. People give when they catch a vision. Bills do not motivate people to give. People give when they see the big picture. People do not give to a building but what the building can help us do. People do not give for a fund raiser. People give for what the money can do.
  3. People give to experience the joy of generosity. It feels good to give. It really does. A person who doesn't understand that has never given generously. The happiest people in the word are the most giving people. Guilt never motivates people to give. That kind of giving only lasts as long as the guilt does.
  4. People give when they are inspired by others. A testimony by a church leader on why they give is a thousand times money effective that a sermon on giving. Giving is contagious.
  5. People give when they are involved. Those who are most involved at your church will be those who sacrifice the most. Never does someone give generously from the sidelines.
  6. People give when you ask them to give. The bible says "ask and seek and knock." Your church will be hurt more by those who would have said yes and were not asked than by those who were asked and said no.
  7. People give when you make it possible for them to give. Teach people that they can either give by reason or by revelation. Giving by reason is to look at what you have, figure out what is reasonable and commit that amount. It doesn't take faith to give by reason. Giving by revelation means I determine my gift by praying to God and asking God what God wants to give through me. This requires faith. When you give by revelation you're committing an act of worship.
  8. People give when their gifts are appreciated. The entire book of Philippians is a thank you letter from Paul for their offerings, their financial support. Figure out as many ways as you can to thank people for their gift. A little appreciation goes a long way to encourage people to be generous.

I pray that your giving will increase in 2017. It's a legacy I hope I have modeled to you.

Pastor Tom

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Elijah and Elisha were partners in ministry. As the story goes in 2nd Kings, Elijah saw Elisha working in a field. He threw a cape over Elisha, a symbol of adoption, and together they traveled a long road together. In this story at the end of Elijah's life he departs into heaven in a fiery chariot and I, coincidentally, am about to retire. So the metaphor sort of speaks to me but believe me I am no Prophet Elijah. I have no fiery chariot, and I don't expect any of you to stand on the sidewalk, grab my ankles and beg me to stay. Elijah was swept into heaven and I am heading back to Robbinsdale, a pretty place, but the similarities end there. It is a story of a hard goodbye. Because Elijah and Elisha were partners in ministry they saw and felt God work in mighty ways. They shared adventures. The cared about each other. Goodbye for them was hard because ministry together had been so good. In the end no matter how long they stalled, the fiery chariot swept in and took Elijah away. I just have a Subaru Forester with a sun roof.

By the grace of God your story and mine have intersected for the past six years. We have journeyed together and we have seen God at work. Sometimes I have been the teacher and you have been the learners. Very frequently you have been the teachers and I the learner. 

We cautiously agreed to a commuter ministry where I drove the 80 miles round trip as you reluctantly let go of the idea of having your pastor live across the church parking lot as he did for so many years. You welcomed me with open arms. You were patient when I spent five days in the hospital a week after being on the job. (Something about influenza and pneumonia.) You told me stories from the church's 153 year old history and introduced me to the sages of the congregation. You connected genealogies and you gave me cemetery tours. You have shared with me your personal stories. You have told me of your deep wounds, and heavy burdens and you have let me pray for you. I have been welcomed into your family's joys and surprises. I have stood with you at the foot of graves, next to you at the baptismal font, at the wedding altar and preached to you from a Reformation-like pulpit.

Now the time has come for goodbye. As Elijah and Elisha's story shows, goodbyes are hard. Many of you have kindly expressed that it is difficult to say goodbye to me. I assure you no matter how excited I am for what lies ahead in retirement, it is equally sad for me to say goodbye to you.

But goodbye is the right thing to say, because it doesn't mean "The End". The word "goodbye" is a contraction of the old phrase, "God be with ye." Goodbye is a word of hope and blessing. It is a prayer for those we love.
I believe that God will truly remain here among you and I can truly trust that God's spirit will accompany me. 

Goodbyes between friends are hard. Goodbyes are especially hard when ministry together has been so good. This is a very hard goodbye for me because I love all of you. But I know that our faithful God has been with you in the past, is with you now, and will be with you in the future.

So "goodbye" is the right thing to say. And thanks for throwing a cape over me too.

In Garrison Keillor's words. "Be well, do good work and keep in touch."

Pastor Tom

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Friday, November 04, 2016

Five hundred years ago one man took a stand that shook Europe and changed the world. (October 31, 1517)

When I was in Wittenberg, Germany 24 years ago I visited this home that was given to Luther by Prince Frederick. It is so big Luther and his family only lived in a small part of it. Today it is called Lutherhaus. It was originally built in 1504. Luther lived there for most of his adult life. It is where he wrote the 95 Theses. The Lutherhaus is currently the world's largest museum relating to the Reformation.

Today there is major restoration being done on the house and all the artifacts had to be moved and stored. Someone had a brilliant idea and suggested that most of the things in the museum including paintings, sculpture, gold, textiles, and works on paper as well as Luther's personal possessions such as his monk's habit, paintings by Lucas Cranach, bibles and manuscripts all be sent to Minneapolis and put on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. And so this traveling exhibit is here for the first and only time outside of Germany while the Lutherhaus is restored.

Dates of the exhibit are October 30 – January 15. Call for tickets. 612-870-3000. ArtsMia.org

I have tickets for November 12. See you there?

Pastor Tom

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